Wow!!! It is truly unbelievable that Senator Palacios is now harping about our EMT pay. He feels that there is abuse of this pay. Just watch and listen to the PNC news interview and report that Kevin Kerrigan, PNC News Director, did on this matter...
Well, naturally we all know what it takes to staff our 4 ambulances. Though there are times when we have anywhere from 1-5 ambulances in service, we have been averaging about 4. And least we not forget that our ALS , Advanced Life Support personnel, EMT-Is, man 2 ALS vehicles. Of course we know the staffing here is supposed to be 3 at all times, but we have been only staffing the ALS vehicles, most of the times, with two person crews in an effort to contain costs, basically saving money.
Well, I was not about to let this misinformation go on without a rebuttal so I was interviewed by Kevin Kerrigan on Tuesday. Of course everyone knows I only give interviews on my day off for the obvious reasons....freedom of speech.
Here is that interview....
I gave Keving Kerrigan a breakdown on the staffing required for 4 ambulances and 2 ALS vehicles per pay period because that is what the reports reflects, the EMT pay costs per pay period. Apparently Senator Palacios has no idea what it takes to staff emergency vehicles for the Guam Fire Department.
Of course we know that we do not use different firefighter/EMTs every shift on each ambulance. There are plenty of personnel working 2 to 3 shifts on the ambulances per pay period so we are not using 196 different firefighters to staff the 4 ambulances. But that figure does reflect the minimum personnel that are necessary. In other words, that is how many 'seats' we must fill every pay period with what we have been averaging. And, as I mentioned before, the ALS personnel have been working quite a few 2 person crews to help save money by not using that 3rd person. So everyone is trying doing their part.
Leave it up to Senator Palacios to complain about us responding to medical emergencies.
Again I would have to call Senator Palacios' math or should I say, 'maff' into question. When he was trying to orally calculate our ambulance staffing he said something about 5 times 6 equals 30. What was that about? I have no idea how he derived at these numbers. Even my son-in-law, who was watching the replay of the newscast, could not believe how misinformed Senator Palacios is.
Senator Palacios also complained about the Fire Suppression personnel being EMTs and responding to medical emergencies. He said that fire suppression people are those that go out and extinguish fires. Kevin Kerrigan asked the Senator, why are they (suppression personnel) getting the medic pay. Senator Palacios' answer was, "That's what I can't understand." First of all if you don't understand something about the fire department, Mr. Public Safety Chairman, then go ask the Fire Chief, or any firefighter for that matter. Don't go straight to the news media and sensationalize something that you don't understand.
Secondly, all fire suppression personnel are EMTs as required by P.L. 28-62, which you should be aware of as you voted in support of the bill. Here is the voting record....
And thirdly, fire suppression personnel rotate on and off the ambulances as needed in order to perform those mandated duties and keep their EMT skills fresh.
All I can say to Senator Palacios is this, "Senator, why don't you come out to our fire stations and meet and greet the firefighters. See how we operate. Ask us questions. Inquire how we are doing. Ask us what you can do for us. Because since you have been our oversight chairperson, going on your 2nd term, you have done nothing about helping us purchase firetrucks, new ambulances, equipment, hire new firefighters or really anything else positive. You have used most of your time concentrating on cutting down the Guam Fire Department, calling to question the integrity of all the firefighters and staff, trying to destroy the public trust of the fire department and the list goes on. This is quite subversive."
"Yes, we have our problems as does any Gov Guam agency and private business, but you really have done nothing for us. And all of this has been happening on your watch. It is a direct reflection of your leadership or lack there of and lack of willingness to work with our fire administration. You don't even know how many fire stations we have. Senator Palacios, WE HAVE 12 FIRE STATIONS, NOT 10, as you said in the news interview."
"Wake up and smell the coffee. Get into the game. You are our oversight chair and we keep asking for your help. If it was not for Senator Ben Pangelinan taking the lead with DOI to help us obtain a commitment for the $500,000 for ambulances, which you tagged along on, your record with GFD would be practically clear. Well, come election time, I hope everyone does not forget all the wonderful things that you did not do for the Guam Fire Department. And these are the sentiments of every firefighter that I have spoken to or has called me."
What more can we say???
Until next time....